Substitute Troy Pareto outscored the Republic of Ireland by a stoppage-time winner, conceding four goals in the 1-0 win over lower-ranked Lithuania overnight.
The Tottenham striker, who is currently on loan at MK Dons, made his third senior international strike shortly after, following the cancellation of two attempts by Chidos Ogben, Conor Hurrihan and Scott Hogan.
Three days after beating World No. 2 Belgium 2-2 at Aviva Stadium, an Irish team with six changes led to a victory over FIFA’s 137th – ranked Lithuanians.
A few, including manager Stephen Kenny, went through a great performance against Belgium, but his men worked hard at it.
Striker Will Keane, the twin brother of England defender Michael, had a first start, the return of defender Dara Ohio after an ankle injury against Portugal in September, but a match.
Ireland’s unbeaten streak has been extended to eight matches, otherwise they have nothing to recommend.
After a low-key start, after clearing Hurrihan’s corner to the edge of the penalty area, the heat increased when winger Ryan Manning hit a left-footed volley that Ireland thought had taken the lead.
Seconds later, Ogbane converted Manning’s cross from an offside position.
Lithuanian keeper D’Sougas-Bartocas had to line up Ogben’s deflected shot, and when the hosts’ feet were found the stone Robinson made a high and wide effort.
Manning turned around in the 16th minute from wide in the 16th minute.
But as their frustration grew, Ireland struggled to hold on and in the 36th minute Keane headed home a cross over the crossbar, including seven corners – allowing a series of promising positions to slip away from them. Led to a warm conclusion.
When Alan Brown’s erroneous pass fell to Fedor Cernic, Kenny’s men could have made things worse within seconds of the resumption, but his deflected effort was comfortably recovered by goalkeeper Kyomhin Keller.
Brown could have made quick corrections if he had been able to reconcile his goal against Belgium with a cross from Matt Doherty in the 50th minute, but defender Benaz Satkas cleared the way for him.
Ireland got the ball back into the net in the 54th minute when Hortihan was sent off by Doherty’s cross, but the strike was called off again as Robinson and Keane turned away from the final defender and intercepted Bartcas’ view.
The keeper, who saved from Doherty, turned the home side screw and Ogbene ran the ball over the rebound, but the Lithuanians had a chance when Justices Lasikas and Edgar Utkas blocked successive shots.
Ogben defeated Bartcas a second time after Parat and James McLean set him up, but the assistant referee ruined his evening once again, and his teammate Hogan rejected an attempt for the same reason.
However, Parrot won it two minutes later with the final kick of the game through a blasting drive from 20 yards to ruin Lithuania’s night.
Kenny salutes the heroism of the late Parrot
Stephen Kenny, Manager, Republic of Ireland: “To be fair to the players, the ability to score late goals is a very important quality of a team. Again today we scored three goals against Azerbaijan, Serbia, Luxembourg and against Belgium. You can not underestimate the value of perseverance, it is a very important quality of the team, it speaks of the humility of the group, it manifests itself in the ability to persevere.
“I have never played a game without conceding four goals. This is a very unusual situation, four goals – some of which are late flags, so you celebrate, and then the flag rises, you can not believe that disappointment will make you better, it is not so. Was important. You have to go through and continue to believe that you are going to create openings. I know we left it too late, but it was Troy Parrot’s brilliant goal. ⁇
The good run of the Republic continues – Opta Statistics
- The Republic of Ireland have not lost in eight of their last eight matches (W4 D4) since conceding 1-2 in a World Cup qualifier against Portugal in September. Before those eight games, the Irish had lost six of the 10 (W1 D3)
- Lithuania failed to score a single shot in the game and did not score in any of their three away encounters with the Irish.
- The Republic of Ireland have retained five clean sheets in their last six games in all of their last 12 games they have handled just two shots.
- 12 of the 15 goals scored by the Republic of Ireland in the 2021-22 season (excluding their own goals) come from players who play in English League football, thanks to former Troy Parrot winner MK Dons Stryker. Premier League defender Shane Duffy scored.
- The Republic of Ireland have scored 13 goals in their last six matches (2.2 per game), while under Stephen Kenny they have scored only 11 goals in their first 16 matches (0.7 per game).
- The Republic of Ireland holds 79% of the game, the highest number ever recorded in a single game since June 2012 (when the option has this data).
- Matt Doherty became the first player to make 20 appearances for Ireland under Stephen Kenny, becoming the first player since Robbie Keane to achieve that feat when playing for Spurs in 2005.
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